Comments on "fraud"

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I got a phone call today from someone purporting to be from the fraud department at Barclays, wanting to talk to Emma. They gave me a number she could call them back at. "And if I check your website, will I find that number there?" "Oh yes. And it'll be on the back of her card, too."

So, I go and check the Barclays website. No sign of that phone number. I look on the back of my bank card (which is the same as Emma's, modulo details). No sign of that number. Uh-oh: phishing?

What saith Google? Well, it found one non-content-free hit for the phone number (since then, writing it in different ways, I've found more; see below): a blog post by Charlie Stross, who as well as being a pretty good science fiction author shows every sign of being sensible and wise. He thinks he was being scammed. The evidence he presents is pretty convincing.

So I called Barclays (not using the number I was given by the Mystery Caller) and after some to-ing and fro-ing got through to their fraud department. And, lo and behold, the person I spoke to there confirmed that they had tried to call me, and that the number I was given was genuine.

On the whole, I'm convinced -- if it's a scam operation then they've successfully subverted either Barclays' website or their phone system, and they've done it in a pretty polished way -- but Barclays do seem to be trying pretty hard to give the impression of being scammers.

Other evidence: 2007-01-10, 2007-09-08, 2007-11..2008-10, 2008-06-05.

The number, mostly so that Google can find it: 0800 389 1652 = 0800 3891652 = 08003891652.

On 2008-11-24 at 09:37:49, Emma said:

The other interesting thing is that the call from the fraud department was in response to one (largish) Amazon order. That hardly seems an unusual spending pattern in late November. I'm slightly worried that I'm going to find my card blocked when I try to do the rest of my Christmas shopping.

On 2008-12-31 at 15:47:58, Leonard said:

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